Hello All, Just a quick note to say that I haven't been blogging here for a while because Peter and I decided to get our own doma...
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Archive for 2013
I should always do a quick look back post each and every year, regardless if I'm feeling lazy or not.
So, 2013 is a roller coaster year for me. Here's a breakdown of what I did:
1) Passed CIMA C04: Business Economics Exam. Yay!
2) Went to Siem Reap & Phnom Penh, Cambodia - February 2013
3) Went to Bangkok, Kanchanaburi & Pattaya, Thailand - March 2013
4) Went to Calaguas Island, Philippines - May 2013
5) Went to Dumaguete, Siquijor & Oslob, Cebu - May 2013
6) Went to El Nido & Puerto Princesa, Palawan - August 2013
7) Went to Singapore & the 2013 Grand Prix, and Johor Bahru, Malaysia - September 2013
8) Moved to America - Jacksonville, Florida - October 11, 2013
9) Finished 4 books: One Day - David Nicholls, The Fault in Our Stars - John Green, and two others I cannot remember for the life of me, to be honest.
10) Fell out of love.
11) Fell back in love
12) Discovered and did things I never thought I would before.
13) Went to Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island in Florida - November 2013
14) Went to Charleston, South Carolina - November 2013
15) Went to Cumberland Island, Georgia - November 2013
16) New York City - December 2013.
17) Been to 4 States (Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, New York) in the United States of America within a span of two months - a great feat indeed!
18) Conquered Batad, Benguet - June 2013
Here's to more travels, adventures, and experiences ahead :) Here's to 2014!
I initially started this book two years ago, when I picked it up from Tesco while I was living in the UK. I picked this up again in Manila, and now, I finished it when I am now living in the US
It was a cute story - of course, I've seen the movie before I read the book but the movie and the story did not really differ much from each other. It's the story about Emma and Dexter, who met in uni, had gone their separate ways, but remained friends despite everything else.
And while it does have a tragic ending, the book paints a really, really cute picture of two people who should belong together, and do belong together, even during the years that they are not together as a couple.
It is a story of love, and loss, of moving on, growing up, and everything that life can throw at you.
What I like about this story is that it's so realistic, it paints an entirely big picture of how big and bad the world is.
I also love the fact that it paints a very, very great picture of Edinburgh too, one of my favourite cities in the world!
Do pick this book up if you liked the movie, available at your local bookstores online or in-store.
Two years ago at this time, I was still in London enjoying autumn.
I had to say goodbye to someone who I really cared about because I was going home.
I booked last minute trips to Cardiff and Belfast just so I could complete the goal of visiting the capitals of all the countries that make up the UK.
I bought boots, a thick jacket, and a huge 65L backpack that I was saving to use when I decide to travel long term, inspired by my new friends.
And so, on the car to the airport, on a sunny autumn day, I shed loads of tears as I said goodbye to my favourite city in the world, vowing to come back, but i just don't know when.
A year ago, also in October, I jumped on a plane on a solo backpacking trip to Vietnam.
Little did I know how much my life would change since then.
As I was researching the trip, I stumbled upon a place called Nha Trang and something inside me told me to go there.
I met an amazing person in Vietnam. I fell in love and fell out of love some months later. And though it hurt, it's not something I would want to forget.
That place was absolutely memorable. It was someplace I never expected to go to, and sometimes the unexpected can bring you things you never thought would happen.
This October, I am embarking on yet another journey, this time to the other side of the world.
And though I have had other assignments before, this one is longer term, and well, I am still scared.
But reading up on other blogs made me realize, hey, its scary, but fear can be conquered.
Three Octobers. And October 2013 is still starting.
Crazy but if you think about all the amazing things that can happen everyday in your life, you would know that you're blessed.
So, what do I like about the book? Erm.. Rather, what don't I like about the book? First off, Anastasia is just so shallow, even her language in the book is shallow - she must have said a bazillion "Holy Cows, or holy crap", or whatever else she kept on saying that just annoyed me to bits and pieces and that is one of the reasons why it took me forever to finish reading this book. Secondly, she does sound like a hooker. I'm sorry but yes, she does.
So, what else can I complain about this book? Yes the scenes were graphic, and yes, some were plain horrible for me, and it was just each and every scene was full of BDSM scenes you'll get sick and tired of reading about their exploits.
This book reminded me a lot about Twilight - I can't wait to throw it on the floor but I can't because when I start reading something I make it a point to finish it.
Ugh... why did I have to read this book? Oh wait, I remember, I read it because my friend asked me to.
And why did I get myself pressured to reading it? Ugh... the things I get myself into.
So, back to my original question.. would I still read the next 2 books?
I don't know - perhaps if my friend would let me borrow the next two books? But honestly? I don't have time to read such crap anymore.
So I woke up this morning because I had a dream about you.
The funny thing was I rarely dream vividly, like I really remember what I dreamt about.
I wouldn't go into the details here but really, it was odd. I mean why you?
Course you had some impact on my life and at some point in time was a huge part of it, not anymore!
But seriously, instead of feeling sad or thinking I'm upset or wrecked, I had a thought: channeling my efforts somewhere else.
And so I did.
I don't want to post this on Facebook where you might never read it (of course you can't. I am nonexistent for you in FB now, whether you like it or not) so I will post this out in the world for you to see.
I am learning better skills to make me a better traveller. And that will form part of being me. I am doing what I can to travel more but spend less. Oh wait, I am already doing that. But I can be better.
You should know that I am NOT stupid. I know I am not. The way you treated me was unjustifiable.
I'm getting back by this.. and letting the whole world know (if anyone might have happened to chance upon this) how I rose up from this.
South America and Europe, watch out for me.
The Carribean? Yes, I will get there too.
Australia, New Zealand, remote Pacific Islands, hell yes.
And the best part of it is I aim to do all this without struggling as much with money as you!
I'm smart with my time and my money and of learning new things. Just in case you don't know.
It sure made me sit up and think about what I have in my life and just live everyday to the fullest. As these two characters definitely lived with uncertainty - will they still wake up tomorrow?
The book has painted a wonderful picture of Amsterdam to me, and googling the photos of the houses and the canals lit up at night, it just charmed me to bits and pieces.
From reading this book, from watching The Great Gatsby, and researching for places to go to in my new future home, it was just so exciting. A new beginning, a new life, a new turf.
This all came with a price, of course, if you may have noticed my blog posts before this.
Write what you are thinking about. So i will.
I will never regret what happened. Never.
If you do by any chance get to read this, I know that you are happy now. And i want you to know that in a strange way, I am happy too.
I am happy for myself, and all the strange and wonderful opportunities that I know are coming my way.
And I also want you to know I don't hate you. I just want some time to myself, and I dont want to be friends with you. Not just yet.
Maybe in some bizarre situation we might see each other again. Maybe, maybe not.
I never regret anything. All the things I told you were true.
Thank you for the memories. It was fun, while it lasted.
I have to thank a friend who is so special to me who makes me think that the world is still big and I have soo many things yet to discover.
Thats just it.
Like a wound that has scabed and healed.
It hurt like hell at first when you get wounded
Then you accidentally do something to tear it open again, just when it was healing.
And then you realize that it has now scabbed over, the old, ugly skin, deformed and peeling off, leaving pinkish white skin in the bottom.
It may not be the same as your old skin, but new skin nontheless.
It will eventually be the same colour, and will have the same functions. Over time, you will be the one taking out the scabs yourself, eager to reveal the skin underneath.
And then you realize... wow, im new, im healed.
The reasons why the wound was there was forgotten.
Ready to face the world again.
Its all for the better.
Everything has a reason.
Pick yourself up, you are new, you are healthy, have fun.
Keep discovering, and if you get wounded again, remember its a lesson.
Everything is a lesson.
Its just up to you to learn how to get up after a fall and deal with bruises or scars that was left behind.
Because eventually all those will just be that, left behind, as you move forward.
So for this post, I just want you to know...
For inspiring me to conquer my fears.
For making me realize that I can swim and should not be that dependent on a life vest, even if the water is too deep.
For reminding me that I travelled alone to other places and so shouldn't really be nervous about doing so again and again.
For making me want to learn how to dive.
For pushing me to my limits.
For making me ride a motorbike, albeit as a passenger.
For swimming with the whale sharks with me and calmed me down when I panicked.
For believing I could do the silly things I've said above.
For being an amazing travel buddy.
For putting up with me and my mood swings.
For making me a better person as a whole when I experienced the above.
For putting up with me.
Pattaya is quite well known for being a seedy place. It is full of old white men (sex tourists? Or probably loved the place so much they didn't want to leave?) Arm in arm with local Thai girls, some of them nearly 20 years younger!
Nevertheless, it is a good place to chill out and just enjoy the beach.
There are numerous resorts along the beach and tourist spots too.
Only went there for a day trip to get out of the Bangkok. Was it worth it? For the experience, yes.
A good place to surf, waves are very tame, perfect for beginners.
Its sand is smooth but dark. Glad to have been to this place.
An amazing place to go to. Limestone cliffs and pristine turquoise waters await you. It is also a budget backpacker's dream. A fan cooled room onky cost us P 400 a night. That is $10, $5 per person, as there were 2 of us sharing the room.
I just want to share this photo, and hopefully many more to come :)
Tagged as the new "Boracay", Calaguas Beach in Camarines Norte is the ideal definition of roughing it. With no resorts, no running water, no mobile phone signal and no electricity on the island, why would you possibly want to go there?
Simply put, the simple living lifestyle and the gorgeous, fine, and pure white sand beach that surrounds the area. Two hours by boat from the Paracale Port, this magical island is definitely something of an unexpected hidden wonder for me. So, what is there to do within the island? You could choose to island hop and be dropped off at deserted beaches (if you're lucky enough!) and bum and swim your day away in turquoise blue waters that are so clear you could see the sand at your feet. If you opt to choose within the island, you could opt to walk the stretch of sand, on to the rocky patches where photo ops are ideal, and discover hidden beaches on the other part of the island.
Then again, these beaches are not as fine as the campsite.
Aside from the feeling of remoteness and the roughing it, it is an ideal place to stare at the stars - something you don't see everyday in Manila.
To get to Calaguas Island, you could take a packaged tour (which most people tend to opt for to avoid bringing loads and loads of stuff in the island) or to do it yourself, you could charter a boat from Paracale, which is an hour away from Daet.
Note that the island doesn't have electricity nor resorts, so you'll have to bring your own provisions (ie water, food, flashlights) and tents. If you choose to do the package tour route, you could get an all-in package. I took the travel factor tour instead of DIY as I travelled alone to the island. :)
However, if you are used to the finer things in life, be really prepared to expect only the basic of amenities, there are no airconditioned tents, and if there is no wind then the tent could be stifling if you choose to zip it up, the fresh water is 10 pesos per bucket - so if you need to take a bucket shower be prepared to pay for it. The toilets need to be flushed manually (you'll need to pay P10 if you plan to poo to flush it down) and they are not exactly that clean. Also prepare to brush your teeth using mineral water and just spit anywhere - there are no sinks located in the island.
So if you were going there, bring:
- Loads of wet wipes (you're going to need it)
- Toilet Paper/Tissues
- Lots and lots of water
- Your swimsuit
- A book to read
- A sarong to lie on
- A change of clothes
My Lakbayan grade is C!
How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!
Created by Eugene Villar.
This blog post is typed entirely on a plane from Manila to Bangkok in an effort to be more productive.
I've shelves the books I'm trying to read or study now in an effort to make this trip an entirely travel-related one.
10 things to do in siem reap:
1. Eat a luk lok.
It is a Khmer dish which you could get in either beef, pork, or chicken. You canget this anywhere in Cambodia but the one near Pub Street (forgot the restaurat name) is the best one I had.
2. See the sunrise at Angkor Wat.
If you are ok with hoardes of other tourists vying for a spot near the left side of the Wat (this is where the pond is. The right side is mostly a dried up pond with an amazing white horse roaming freely). It is worth doing at least once. My favourite spot is in the temple itself where there is a structure outside and you could feel the heat of the sun as it rises. Amazing stuff.
3. Touch the boobs of one the Apsaras in Angkor Wat.
Hey, everyone does it, right? Maybe for good luck or otherwise? Why do you think they're shiny?
4. See the Bayon temple.
Trust me, this is a site worth seeing. I "kissed" one of the stone faces. You should too!
5. See Preah Khan.
This is one of the most amazing temples for me. A Greek temple in the middle of the Asia, huge trees destroying the structures, walking among the rocks of ruins. Amazing.
6. See the temple which looks like a fountain.
For the life of me, I cannot remember the name right now but going there, you have to walk through an elevated walkway which passes through water. How in the heck was this discovered, I will never know (until I google).
7. Party like crazy in Angkor What? Bar.
Get a t-shirt when you buy two buckets. They are potent but worth it.
8. See the Giant Puppet Parade.
If you are in town in one lucky February day, its like one big street party in Pub Street. Amazing!
9. Buy elephant pants at the Central Market. Eveyone (well, nearly everyone) is wearing one so join in! It will be useful when you need to go to the temples and don't have pants! (Well, i only brought one pair with me so dress appropriately girls!)
10. Pub Street.
Shops, restaurants, bars. 'Nuff said.
So there you have it, my top 10 Siem Reap things to do. Do you have a list of your own? Share them :)
Utterly amazing. This is what it looks like when you wake up so early and see the sun hit the temples.